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Updated: February 10, 2014 02:39 IST

Kiran firm on quitting, ignores MPs’ plea

Special Correspondent
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N. Kiran Kumar Reddy
The Hindu
N. Kiran Kumar Reddy

Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy has reportedly turned down an appeal made by Seemandhra Congress MPs not to resign till February 21.

Close associates of Mr. Reddy contend that he has made up his mind not to stay in the office for a minute once the President Pranab Mukherjee refers the AP Reorganisation Bill to the Parliament in the next couple of days, though a number of Seemandhra Congress MPs have been persuading him to put it on hold till the end of the Parliament session.

“If you resign, it will be a setback to our fight against bifurcation of AP,” a two-time MP from Seemandhra is understood to have told Mr. Reddy on Sunday. The MPs feel that the Chief Minister should hold on and wait for developments in Parliament during the next 10 days. Their expectation is BJP, which is none too happy with the Bill in its present form, may at the last moment back out and use the opportunity to embarrass the Congress.

But sources in the Chief Minister’s camp contend that there was no change in his plans to resign. “The next three-four days are crucial for us,” a close aide of Mr. Reddy said adding that he wants the State Legislature, which commences its sitting from Monday to pass the vote-on-account budget by February 13.

A Minister from Seemandhra considered close to the Chief Minister told The Hindu on Sunday that Mr. Reddy was firm on resigning in next three days as it would not be proper for him to wait for the Parliament to pass the bifurcation Bill. It is also learnt that Mr. Kiran Reddy was non-committal about his plans on recommending dissolution of the Assembly to the Governor, when Seemandhra Congress Ministers and MPs met him with this suggestion.

Earlier, in an interview to Karan Thapar on CNN IBN too, Mr. Reddy said he was prepared for any eventuality, including resignation for his fight to keep the state united. “Resignation, power or Chief Minister’s post is not bigger to me than the will of the people, who want to be united,” a press release quoting Mr. Reddy in the interview released from his office said.

“Post does not bother me. I am not a permanent Chief Minister. I am the 16th Chief Minister here there will be a 17th, a 18th or 20th Chief Minister,” he added.

On resignation and talk of new party, Reddy said that he was not alone and one of the options before him was resignation. “We will discuss and take an appropriate step. There are 70—80 MLAs and MPs... All of us will discuss,” he said.

Mr. Kiran Reddy is playing the correct role under the circumstances. He has been advising as an insider and fighting the cause of the majority in his state. When his efforts do not succeed and his advice is not heeded, it is best to get out and fight from outside. It is surprising that the Andhra leaders have not left their party identities and united under a temporary political umbrella for their cause. Even the Center’s plan appears to divide the leaders in residual AP by some proposals. It suggests special packages for North AP and parts of Rayalaseema while ignoring Krishna, Prakasam, East and West Godavaris, Nellore, and so on. Are any local leaders seeking special deals in return for their support to the Center during the Break up vote? In the ensuing elections, the residual AP will have a chance to impress upon the nefarious Central schemers that Andhras should not be stepped upon. But Andhra Kesari is no more! Are there any Kesari cubs?

from:  Som Karamchetty
Posted on: Feb 10, 2014 at 10:47 IST
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